Matthew Morrison Will Not Be Part of PBS South Pacific Broadcast

News   Matthew Morrison Will Not Be Part of PBS South Pacific Broadcast
 
Tony Award nominee Matthew Morrison will not return to the Tony Award-winning revival of South Pacific for the PBS "Live from Lincoln Center" broadcast on Aug. 18.
Matthew Morrison
Matthew Morrison Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Representatives for the production told Playbill.com that Morrison will be unable to reprise his performance as Lt. Cable due to his filming schedule for the FOX television series "Glee." He earned a Golden Globe and Emmy Award nomination for his portrayal of high school teacher Will Schuester on the hit series.

Three-time Tony Award-nominated actress Kelli O'Hara, who departed South Pacific in January, was previously announced to return Aug. 10 (in time for the live television broadcast of the revival). Many had speculated that Morrison would also return to the cast, but LCT representatives previously responded cautiously, citing Morrison's commitments to "Glee."

Both Morrison and O'Hara missed the opportunity to document their performances in the Tony Award-winning Adam Guettel musical The Light in the Piazza, which was also broadcast on "Live from Lincoln Center" after the duo had departed. O'Hara and Morrison both earned Best Featured Actor/Actress Tony nominations for the 2005 musical.

Staged on the expansive Beaumont thrust by Tony Award-winning director Bartlett Sher, South Pacific will be broadcast live on PBS at 8 PM ET Aug. 18.

Stepping back into the role of Ensign Nellie Forbush, O'Hara will reunite with her Tony Award-winning co-star Paulo Szot, who stars as Emile de Becque. Andrew Samonsky currently plays the role of Lt. Cable, which Morrison originated for the LCT production. The broadcast will also feature Tony-nominated cast members Loretta Ables Sayre as Bloody Mary and Danny Burstein as Luther Billis. South Pacific will conclude its record-breaking Broadway run through Aug. 22.

Tony Award-winning designer Michael Yeargan created the scenic designs for the revival, which utilizes a retractable stage to reveal a full 30-piece orchestra. The visuals also boast palm trees, endless beaches and a 1940's bomber plane.

South Pacific earned seven 2009 Tony Awards, including Best Revival of a Musical, Best Direction, Best Scenic Design, Best Costumes, Best Lighting, Best Sound and Best Actor for Szot.

The Lincoln Center Theater production has musical staging by Christopher Gattelli, sets by Michael Yeargan, costumes by Catherine Zuber, lighting by Donald Holder and sound by Scott Lehrer. South Pacific boasts a 30-piece orchestra performing the musical's original orchestrations by Robert Russell Bennett and dance and incidental music arrangements by Trude Rittmann.

Based on James Michener's Pulitzer Prize-winning collection of short stories "Tales of the South Pacific," the musical focuses on French plantation owner Emile de Becque and his love interest, Nellie Forbush, a naïve young nurse from Arkansas. Set against the backdrop of the Second World War, South Pacific offers a lushly romantic score while challenging audiences with themes of racial intolerance and bigotry.

South Pacific's score includes numerous American songbook classics, including "Some Enchanted Evening," "Wonderful Guy," "Younger Than Springtime," "Happy Talk," "Bali H'ai" and "There Is Nothing Like a Dame." South Pacific, starring Mary Martin and Ezio Pinza, won nine Tony Awards and the Pulitzer Prize for its Broadway debut in 1949.

Tickets for the Lincoln Center Theater revival of South Pacific are available at the Vivian Beaumont box office (150 West 65th Street), at Telecharge or by visiting LCT.

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